My natural hair color is dark brown with a few reddish highlights. It’s always been dark brown except for one summer during college when I was a camp counselor and over did it with Sun-In. That summer I came back to college with very orange hair which at the time I really liked, but in retrospect realize that it was a bad mistake. Thankfully over time my natural hair color grew back.
Over the past few years I’ve struggled with a few gray hairs that are incredibly persistent. I know that gray hair is coming for all of us and there’s no stopping mother nature. As a green living advocate, like many of you, I pay close attention to the chemicals that go in and on my body. As much as I want to keep my dark hair, my intuition is screaming “toxic chemicals”.
So I tried henna. It was messy and smelly, but it worked. After a few months of using henna my stubborn grays decided not to cooperate and my natural gray and brown hair color reappeared after a very short 1-2 weeks after a henna treatment. There was no way I could reapply henna every 1-2 weeks so it was time for another option. Gray isn’t an option yet.
For weeks I stood and starred at the many hair color options in the aisle at Whole Foods. I was searching for a safer option than all of those chemical filled conventional hair colors in a box. Tints of Nature was on the shelf and I did a little leg work to see what this product was all about.
What I like about Tints of Nature
Tints of Nature makes a permanent hair color that doesn’t have most of those toxic chemicals found in other hair colors, such as ammonia, resorcinol and parabens.
Tints of Nature permanent hair colors use the most natural ingredients possible and only use synthetic raw materials a when there is no natural alternative.
There are no animal byproducts so Tints of Nature is perfect for vegetarians and vegans.
While the colors do contain PPDs (paraphenylenendiamines), they use the lowest amounts possible to be able to cover grey hair; on average PPDs comprise 0.42% of the product, including a true black.
What I don’t like about Tints of Nature
I’m most concerned about the PPDs (paraphenylenendiamines) in Tints of Nature permanent color. PPDs can cause severe health issues ranging from allergic reactions to cancer. The reason they’re used in hair dye is they allow the color to penetrate the hair shaft (as opposed to henna, which interacts with one’s natural pigment on the outside of the shaft). The bottom line is if you’re using a permanent hair dye it probably has PPDs in it.
Using Tints of Nature
I’ve been using Tints of Nature hair color for a few months and I really like the color of my hair and the ease of applying the mixture. It also has been lasting for about 4-5 weeks. When applying I’ve learned to be very careful not to get the product on any counters, floors or sinks-or they too will be dyed black!
To apply the solution your hair needs to be washed and wet. The box contains gloves to spread the mixture starting from the roots down. I leave it on my head for about 30 minutes with the provided cap. The final steps are rinsing, shampooing and conditioning in the shower with their products-all contained in the box. It’s not as messy as henna and a much simpler process.
Great news: Tints of Nature now has a semi-permanent dye without PPD’s
Tints of Nature just launched an ammonia-free, organic semi-permanent hair color line that is completely free of PPDs and PTDs (Paraphenylenediamines and Paratoluenediamines – pigment). A semi-permanent color does not penetrate the hair shaft; it simply coats the hair to provide shiny, temporary color to hair, without damage or risk.
The kind folks at Tints of Nature have agreed to give one Groovy Green Livin reader 6 boxes of Tints of Nature permanent colour. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to ourOfficial Rules.
Toxic chemicals are everywhere. As parents most of us do our best to keep our kids safe, but unfortunately it’s not always easy or within our control. Our kids are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis through a variety of consumer products found in our homes. This is unacceptable. If you’ve been a Groovy Green Livin follower for a bit you know that this is an issue I care about and I write about often.
Stand up for kids not toxic chemicals
Today I’m joining forces with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and people across the country to ask our Congressional candidates to stand up for kids NOT Big Chemical! Toxic chemicals are found in so many consumer products that are in our homes-toys, lunch boxes, even Halloween costumes. Through these products and many others kids and their families are exposed to toxic chemicals like lead, pthalates, cadmium, and formaldehyde. Studies have shown a direct link between toxic chemicals and childhood cancer, early puberty, infertility and learning and developmental disabilities. This can’t go on.
Girls and boys starting puberty much earlier than before
We already know that girls are maturing at a younger age, with many starting to develop breasts as early as age 7 or 8. Just this week research was released showing American boys are showing signs of starting puberty six months to two years earlier than they did 30 to 40 years ago.
Today people across the country will be contacting their Congressional candidates to ask them to stand up for the Safer Chemicals agenda. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat or undecided-this issue affects all of us!
Healthy Families Day of Action: Here’s how you can help
Share Safer Chemical Healthy Families action materials via social media. Head over to theirFacebook page or find them on Twitter and share our action links and images that state “I stand with kids, not Big Chemical!”
As parents it’s our responsibility to advocate for our children since they don’t have a voice. We have a voice – it’s a collective voice that can be used in a very powerful way to effectuate change. Remember that any small action you make can and will make a difference.
The The Power of We is a force to be reckoned with. Almost 80,000 of us have come together demanding that Procter & Gamble remove a cancer-causing chemical from their Tide Free & Gentle laundry detergent.
Today thousands of writers from around the globe have come together for Blog Action Day to talk about one topic – The Power of We. The Power of We is a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, in their own communities or helping people they have never met.
The Power of We and Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Tide Laundry Detergent
For those of you who have been following Groovy Green Livin for a while you’ll remember that Women’s Voices for the Earth released a report , Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products?, which revealed high levels of the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane hiding out in Tide® and Tide Free & Gentle® . This toxic chemical, 1,4-dioxane doesn’t appear on the product label or on the product website, so consumers have no way of knowing it’s even there.
I started a petition demanding that Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) strip this harmful cancer-causing chemical out of Tide Free & Gentle®. As it turns out I’m not the only one who wants these cancer-causing chemicals out of their Tide laundry detergent. But Procter & Gamble has ignored all of us-almost 80,000 consumers and dozens of health organizations who have contacted the company demanding the removal of this cancer-causing chemical.
The crazy piece is that Procter & Gamble reformulated its Herbal Essences® shampoo in 2010 to strip out 1,4-dioxane. We know that it can be done. So why hasn’t it happened?
Procter & Gamble is taking the position that levels of 1,4-dioxane are safe in its detergents. Say what??? There is no safe level of a known cancer-causing chemical.
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and 1,4-dioxane has been linked to breast cancer. NOW is the perfect time for Procter & Gamble to make a positive change and take the toxic chemicals out of their products.
The Power of We: How you can help
Together we can make a difference. It’s time to join forces again to let Procter & Gamble know that this issue hasn’t gone away and it won’t until they make a change. The time is NOW to remove a cancer-causing chemical from Tide® and Tide Free & Gentle®.
If you haven’t already, please sign my petition asking Procter & Gamble to remove a cancer-causing chemical from their laundry detergents. Sign HERE.
We have an ongoing debate in our house about which mobile phone is best. One of us is a Samsung believer and the other is an iPhone devotee. To help us find some closure the Ecology Center and ifixit.com teamed up to research toxic chemicals in 36 different cell phones, including the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III. The results were released at HealthyStuff.org.
The study found that the iPhone 5 prevailed-coming in as the 5th safest phone, versus the Samsung Galaxy S III, which ranked 9th.
The Motorola Citrus ranked the least toxic phone followed by the iPhone 4 S and the LG Remarq. The most toxic phone tested was the iPhone 2G.
“Even the best phones from our study are still loaded with chemical hazards,” said Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org. “These chemicals, which are linked to birth defects, impaired learning and other serious health problems, have been found in soils at levels 10 to 100 times higher than background levels at e-waste recycling sites in China. We need better federal regulation of these chemicals, and we need to create incentives for the design of greener consumer electronics.”
Most of the 36 cell phones analyzed were models released in the last 5 years. The phones tested represent 10 mobile phone manufacturers, including: Apple, Hewlett-Packard Development Company, HTC Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia Corporation, Palm, Research in Motion and Samsung Electronics. The sample represents the largest set ever released for any electronic product. In total, 1,105 samples were analyzed for 35 different chemicals and elements. The phones were completely disassembled and interior and exterior components were tested using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF).
“Consumer demand for more sustainable mobile phones is driving companies to produce better products,” said Gearhart. “We also need better federal and international policy to manage both chemicals and e-waste, as well as to promote sustainable design.”
According to HealthyStuff.org these were the highlights from the study:
100% of cell phones tested contain chemical hazards.
Samsung phones had the highest average rating of all phone tested.
Apple, now among industry leaders, showed the greatest improvement.The iPhone 2G, introduced in 2007 rated as the poorest phone tested. The two most recent Apple phones, the 4s and 5, are among the best phones tested.
Newer phones are better than older phones. Overall product ratings have improved significantly (33%) since 2007.This reflects an increased focus on reducing chemical hazards by the industry.
Transition to safer alternatives is underway. Leading manufacturers, including Apple, Sony, Samsung and others have started the shift to safer materials and chemistries.
What type of phone do you have? Will this study impact your next cell phone purchase?
It’s been a very exciting week here are Groovy Green Livin. The Disney petition has really taken off thanks to all of you. At last check we have over 56,000 signatures demanding that Disney take toxic chemicals out of their children’s lunch boxes.
If you haven’t signed the petition you can find it HERE.
As many of you know, about a week or so ago I had television cameras in my kitchenagain! This time they were from CBS Boston. I was very happy to see how the piece turned out. I truly appreciate the time the producer Jessi and the cameraman Terry spent with me and my family talking about the Disney petition. I’m grateful for their willingness to spread the word about the toxic chemicals that were found in children’s vinyl back-to-school supplies including Disney lunch boxes. Here’s the clip so you can see for yourself!
Big thank you to Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor at Yahoo! Shine and founder of the blog Write. Edit. Repeat who wrote a wonderful article after interviewing me about the Disney petition. Click HERE for a link to her article which appeared on Yahoo! Shine and Yahoo.com’s home page.
This week has been far from ordinary and yesterday was no exception. The back-to-school transition is challenging for all on so many different levels. I decided that I wanted to complicate my life even more and add to it the launch of my petition asking Disney to get toxic chemicals out of princess and Spiderman lunch boxes. So let’s just say all ‘you-know-what’ broke loose at once this week. I probably have a few more gray hairs, but I’ve lived to tell the tale.
My kids seem to have pulled through the first week of school and my petition has taken off, with over 46,000 51,000 signatures at last check! And still no word from Disney. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hearing from some pretty incredible people during the past few days who feel strongly that Disney needs to do something to clean up their act. NOW.
Why yesterday was far from ordinary
Around 2 pm yesterday a cameraman (Terry) and producer (Jessi) from CBS Boston pulled up to my house for an interview about the petition. It was amazing. We ended up spending an hour and 1/2 talking about the petition, it’s importance and the amazing outpouring of support from the public. They were also able to catch some footage of my kids getting off of the big yellow school bus.
My 12 year old really wanted no part of the limelight. My 10 and 8 year old boys were pretty into it.
They had so many questions about the camera and microphones. Terry, the cameraman, was incredibly patient and kind and answered approximately 500 questions about his camera equipment.
The news team asked us to make our school lunches on camera. So all three of my boys made their lunches and snacks in the afternoon, just as they usually do every morning. It was awesome waking up this morning and having lunches already set for the day.
Jessi, the producer, was fantastic. Her questions were very thought provoking and clear. It was truly a pleasure talking with her.
I have to admit, it’s a bit strange opening up my home for a TV crew. I’ve done it before, but it’s still a bit unsettling. They filmed inside my refrigerator, inside my kitchen and caught my very private hellos and hugs with my children after school.
Now the waiting
It’s always interesting to me that I’m a bit anxious and running on adrenaline during the interview, but I’m always much more anxious waiting for the piece to air. What did I say? I honestly have no recollection. I’m hopeful that I covered most things that I wanted to touch upon and my passion about the petition shinned through. We shall see.
The segment will air sometime next week here in Boston. I’ll post a link once I have it.
If you haven’t signed the petition and would like to learn more about it please CLICK HERE.
Have you ever opened up your home in a very public way?
The alarm clock went off at an ungodly hour this morning and I quickly rallied to get my very tall 6th grader and his 5th and 3rd grade brothers out of bed. Today millions of children like mine are heading back to school. My three were ready- armed with new backpacks filled to the brim with the required school supplies. As parents most of us do our best to make sure our kids have everything they need to be successful-including the right school supplies. We spent many days over the past few weeks scouring multiple stores, searching for the perfect backpacks, notebooks, folders and other items on those lengthy school supply lists.
These chemicals are tightly regulated in toys — but companies like Disney are exploiting loopholes in a federal law. Because school supplies like lunchboxes aren’t technically “toys,” there is no regulation on the levels of toxic chemicals like phthalates they contain — and the amounts of these chemicals could be dangerous.
Study shows children’s vinyl “back‐to‐school” supplies are laden with hidden toxic chemicals
Disney’s lunch boxes were some of the worst offenders. Their lunchboxes are covered with beloved characters — like iconic princesses and Spiderman, a character my boys love — but could be shedding toxic chemicals that put my kids at risk.
What’s heartbreaking is that alternatives exist. Disney could choose tomorrow to make their products safer. And, while Congress works on long-term solutions like the Safe Chemicals Act, corporations like Disney have a responsibility to keep our kids safe now.
Lori Popkewitz Alper, Founder and Editor of Groovy Green Livin, provides eco-wellness consulting for businesses, schools, homes and individuals; and inspiration for a greener lifestyle through her Groovy Green Livin blog and website. Read more….